Saturday, October 17, 2009

My "Best Friend" and Realistic Male Friendships

I posted a lot of this in response to another post on one of the North Star discussion groups.
I have thought a lot about this in my life and felt like I should post this here as well.

A while back I was consumed with a desire to find a "Best friend." Some other guy who I could do everything with. Some guy who understood me completely and who I would always call to talk with or go hang out with. I never found that someone. That sort of relationship has eluded me. I used to be very discouraged that I didn't have a "Best Friend."

I think that I've come to the conclusion that it really isn't a realistic or even desirable thing. I will admit that marriage can be a relationship where you're the most important person to your spouse, a "Best Friend" relationship, but the relationship I have with my wife doesn't fill that desire completely. She is the most important person in the world to me and I know that I am to her. I also feel completely safe with her. I know that she'll never leave me or try to hurt me. She really is my best friend.

Still, there has been a similar desire to find that sort of a relationship with a guy as well. I know for sure that no man is supposed to be completely consumed in his relationship with his wife to the point where he doesn't need other male friends--deeply fulfilling, intimate friendships. A man who believes that is going to find that he is never quite happy. However, I've come to the conclusion that the more I think about finding a deep and permanent soul mate in another guy, the more disappointed I am going to be. I don't think that is how God created us to relate to other men.

Over time, I've been able to change the way I think about my relationships with other men. I've come to find that more important than being someone else's best friend, is being a true friend to someone else. The more honest and authentic I am with other men and the more open and vulnerable I am with them, the more they reciprocate. Even more, when I am completely authentic, I feel a deep connection with other men, that truly nourishes my soul. I have friends that I only see a few times a year, if that. Still when I interact with those friends I feel as loved and accepted as I can imagine. I don't necessarily feel that way about guys in my elder's quorum who I see every week, because I am not as open and authentic with them.

I know for sure that it is possible to develop friendships that are deep and meaningful enough to fill the void we feel. It can take a some time, but most of all it takes trust and risk to be completely authentic and real. The best way to go about filling that void is to find as many sources of love as possible. When I was trying to get everything I needed from a single source (even my wife!) I would end up draining the relationship and still feeling empty. But by getting my quota of love from a lot of different relationships, I am not only filled with joy, but those relationships can go on forever without wearing out. And the longer they go, the deeper and more fulfilling they get. I can't wait for eternity with my wife and my beloved brothers!


Bravone said...


Walking Bear said...


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